Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 445–465

Psychological, situational, and gender predictors of cardiovascular reactivity to stress: A multivariate approach

  • John W. Burns
  • Edward S. Katkin

DOI: 10.1007/BF00844816

Cite this article as:
Burns, J.W. & Katkin, E.S. J Behav Med (1993) 16: 445. doi:10.1007/BF00844816


This study examined whether relationships between anger expression, hostility, social evaluative anxiety, and a presumed mechanism for coronary heart disease development, cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) to stress, are moderated by stress situation and gender and whether such relationships are attenuated by inadequate assessments. Subjects (47 men, 47 women) were assigned randomly to either a Harassment or a Social Evaluation condition, under which they performed a reaction time task. SBP, DBP, and HR measures were recorded during baseline and task. Multiple regression analyses indicated that expressed anger was related to CVR only among men in the Harassment condition; that hostile men who express anger showed the most CVR across situations, and that the traits assessed here did not predict CVR among women. Results suggest that assessments of coronary-risk and interventions to reduce risk may need to take into account attitudes, styles of emotional expression, environmental factors, and gender.

Key words

anger expression hostility cardiovascular reactivity gender differences 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Burns
    • 1
  • Edward S. Katkin
    • 1
  1. 1.State University of New York at Stony BrookStony Brook
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Building 51University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical SchoolNorth Chicago

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